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Befriending and Welcome projects come in different forms but are essentially a way of providing a friendly face and a smile to someone who may be feeling anxious or isolated. 

In Loughborough, friendly volunteers offer information, food vouchers and a chat when people report at East Midlands Immigration Enforcement Centre.

In Leeds, asylum seekers newly dispersed to the city are matched with a volunteer who shows them round their local area and introduces them to services that may be useful to them. 

Mentoring projects offer another way that sanctuary seekers can make connections in their communities. Mentors across the country help sanctuary seekers with career goals. 

Have a look at the examples and scroll down for Resources. 


Hidden Talents

A project from Growing Points which gives 1 to 1 support from a ‘Guardian’ to help get into careers in the NHS

Host Nation – Befriending in Greater London and Teeside

Host Nation is a project matching refugees with befrienders in their area

Sheffield Welcome Centre – The Sanctuary

City of Sanctuary Sheffield (COSS) is leading an exciting new initiative to create a welcome centre for asylum seekers and refugees.

Welcome in Loughborough

Loughborough Town of Sanctuary offer a welcome at East Midands Immigration Enforcement Centre.

Welcome to Leeds

A project for newly-dispersed asylum seekers in Leeds

Getting orientated at Urban House in Wakefield

Volunteers at Urban House Initial Accommodation Centre in Wakefield created a map to help residents get orientated with where they were being dispersed to!


A recording of the Facilitated Conversation on Befriending, held 24/11/20

Host Nation have videos on their Vimeo channel which showcase their work and the value of befriending.

This resource gives more information about HostNation and how they have been adapting during the pandemic. 

Resources on organising activities can be found in our Resources section. 

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